Front page

State family agency fires two in case of boy feared dead

Elsa Oliver, 28, was escorted into the courtroom for her arraignment Tuesday. Her attorney told the judge that Oliver was mentally unable to assist in her defense. Alberto Sierra (top right), 22, pleaded not guilty to assault charges. Jeremiah Oliver was last seen on Sept. 14.

RICK CINCLAIR/POOL (left)

A social worker and a supervisor, despite reports of abuse, let months pass without visiting a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy.

The simple act of touching a product on a tablet scree  appeared to greatly influence the desires of Boston College undergraduates who participated in the study.

Tablets facilitate impulse shopping for many

New research indicates that consumers feel a deeper affinity for products they touch on a screen than those selected using touchpad or a mouse.

Outside spending on mayoral finalists hit $3.8m

Outside special interest groups spent twice as much on behalf of Mayor-elect Martin Walsh as they did on John Connolly.

The Patriots waited to take the field in Miami on Sunday.

Dan Shaughnessy

Your sports columnist is here to write, not to root

Says Dan Shaughnessy: “I care about the stories. But when my head hits the pillow at the end of the day it does ... not ... matter to me if the Patriots won or lost.”

Despite push, US employers wary of health incentives

A little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act boosts the maximum incentives for workplace programs that encourage employees to get healthier.

Billy Baker’s chronicling of life in trying conditions led to a mentoring role, which culminated in tears of joy for the triumph of George Huynh (above).

A bus ride, a promise, and a dream fulfilled

Globe reporter Billy Baker’s chronicling of life in trying conditions led to a mentoring role, which culminated in tears of joy for George Huynh’s triumph.

The Nation

Despite push, US employers wary of health incentives

Bruce Wolfeld (top), a product manager at EMC Corp., worked out at the company’s fitness center in Hopkinton.

By Tracy Jan

A little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act boosts the maximum incentives for workplace programs that encourage employees to get healthier.

Budget compromise passes Senate test vote

Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire criticized cuts to pensions for military retirees.

By David Espo

The bipartisan budget bill passed a test vote in the Senate and is likely to win final approval and go to President Obama Wednesday.

A thorn in government’s side scores one in NSA case

“If only one in 10 gets through, you’ve accomplished something. You’ve got to keep punching,” Larry Klayman said.

By Michael D. Shear

A judge’s ruling against government collection of phone records was a triumph for Larry Klayman, who has been filing suits against powerful interests for decades.

The World

Edward Snowden says he would help Brazil inquiry

By Simon Romero

The former NSA contractor said he could aid Brazilian investigations of US spying but could not speak freely until some nation grants him asylum.

Helicopter crash in Afghanistan kills six US troops

By Azam Ahmed

The crash is the single largest loss of life for foreign troops in nearly six months, international coalition officials said.

Russia offers Ukraine a financial lifeline

Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, winked at Vladimir Putin during a signing ceremony at the Kremlin.

By David M. Herszenhorn

President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia would come to the rescue of its financially troubled neighbor.

Editorial & Opinion

SCOT LEHIGH

Holiday advice: Name your price

By Scot Lehigh

Why meekly accede to the price tag on something you want at Macy’s or Lord & Taylor or the Gap, or even, for that matter, Target?

James G. Kostaras

Planning for a new day

By James G. Kostaras

Don’t throw out the Boston Redevelopment Authority — use it to create a blueprint for Boston’s future.

JEFF JACOBY

Why the ‘Impeach Obama’ campaign will go nowhere

By Jeff Jacoby

The GOP leadership won’t let impeachment proceedings go forward because the cost to them would be too high.

Metro

State family agency fires two in case of boy feared dead

Elsa Oliver, 28, was escorted into the courtroom for her arraignment Tuesday. Her attorney told the judge that Oliver was mentally unable to assist in her defense. Alberto Sierra (top right), 22, pleaded not guilty to assault charges. Jeremiah Oliver was last seen on Sept. 14.

By Michael Levenson, Peter Schworm and Patricia Wen

A social worker and a supervisor, despite reports of abuse, let months pass without visiting a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy.

Outside spending on mayoral finalists hit $3.8m

Labor-affiliated political action committees lavished nearly $2.5 million on Martin Walsh’s campaign.

By Wesley Lowery

Outside special interest groups spent twice as much on behalf of Mayor-elect Martin Walsh as they did on John Connolly.

Surgical treatment can harm women, doctors say

By Liz Kowalczyk and Chelsea Conaboy

A Boston surgeon and his wife, an anesthesiologist, said a technique used during hysterectomies caused her undetected cancer to dangerously spread.

More Stories

Park School teacher accused of sexual assault

By Brian MacQuarrie and Brock Parker

Globe Santa

A ‘small gift’ for son’s memorial

By Christopher Tangney

Business

Tablets facilitate impulse shopping for many

The simple act of touching a product on a tablet scree  appeared to greatly influence the desires of Boston College undergraduates who participated in the study.

By Megan Woolhouse

New research indicates that consumers feel a deeper affinity for products they touch on a screen than those selected using touchpad or a mouse.

Google’s Mass. buy puts robotics in focus

Google’s latest robot purchase was Boston Dynamics of Waltham, a military contractor that designs humanoid and animal-like robots such as WildCat (above). Other acquisitions include Bot & Dolly, Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka Robotics, Redwood Robotics, Autofuss, and Holomni.

By Michael B. Farrell

The search giant’s recent purchase of Boston Dynamics, it seems, has woken up Wall Street to the fact that robots are everywhere these days.

Partners-South Shore deal may hurt insurers

By Robert Weisman

A state watchdog agency said potential savings would be overwhelmed by increased spending by the biggest health insurers under the proposed South Shore expansion.

Obituaries

Herbert Gleason, 85, counsel for Boston during turbulent era

Kevin White and Herbert Gleason viewed Faneuil Hall Marketplace from City Hall.

By Bryan Marquard

Friends said that Mr. Gleason could be counted on as a civilizing presence.

Sports

Bruins 2, Flames 0

Zdeno Chara’s two goals power the Bruins

Bruin Zdeno Chara outmuscles Flames defenseman Mark Giordano to score the second of his two power-play goals, this one in the third period.

By Amalie Benjamin

Chara scored twice on the power play, both goals coming with assists from David Krejci and Jarome Iginla, as the Bruins beat the Flames, 2-0.

Dan Shaughnessy

Your sports columnist is here to write, not to root

The Patriots waited to take the field in Miami on Sunday.

By Dan Shaughnessy

Says Dan Shaughnessy: “I care about the stories. But when my head hits the pillow at the end of the day it does ... not ... matter to me if the Patriots won or lost.”

On Football | Midweek Report

Dolphins are closing the gap on Patriots

Ryan Tannehill and Joe Philbin, both in their second seasons with the Dolphins, stood toe to toe with the Patriots twice this season.

By Ben Volin

The Patriots are still the class of the AFC East and will likely be the champions again. But the Dolphins proved Sunday that they’re not far behind.

G: Food

Breakfast fit for Santa

French bread pudding.

By Gillian O’Callaghan

Built on traditions old and new, from cookies to casserole, the meal on Christmas morning is all about togetherness.

Recipe for Southwestern egg bake

Medfield, MA -- 12/07/13 -- The Southwestern egg bake is made with eggs, sour cream, Monterey jack cheese, chiles, salt and pepper and served with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. The Kohler family has a Southwestern egg bake for breakfast on Christmas morning. (Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe)

Medfield resident Adele Kohler first had this egg, chile, cheese, and sour cream dish at a California B&B.

Recipe for sour cream-pecan coffeecake

This is a recipe adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook.”

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Coolidge foundation names new director

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